If you and your child’s other parent are no longer together, whether that be due to a separation or divorce, you more than likely already have established a child custody plan that discusses which parent retains physical and legal custody, if one parent has sole custody or if you share custody, and your visitation schedule.
Unfortunately, as time goes on, you may find that the custody arrangement you previously had is either no longer working for you or is no longer in your child’s best interest. When this issue arises, you have the option of modifying your custody plan. Read on to learn more about this process.
Filing Your Child Custody Modification Petition
If you need to make a modification to your current custody arrangement, you’ll first need to demonstrate that the changes you are seeking are going to be in the best interests of your children. These are the only times that the courts will approve modification requests.
Such reasons might include additional time (perhaps to allow your child to spend more quality time with you or other siblings), less time (perhaps to allow for extracurricular activities), or simply changes in the days you spend together.
In Indiana, once your attorney has established that your modification request will benefit your children, we will file a petition to modify custody. Your child’s other parent will respond to your request either by agreeing to or contesting your modifications.
In situations where the other parent does not agree to the changes you’ve requested, mediation is an option you can utilize to resolve the issues, or a hearing may be set in front of a judge.
Your New Custody Arrangement
Whether you and your child’s other parent agree to the changes you’ve requested or you go through mediation, you’ll need to discuss why you’ve sought the modifications you did. If your case needs to be brought to court, your attorney will need to prove that the suggested changes are both necessary and in the best interests of your children.
It would be better for everyone involved if you can work out any issues prior to the courts deciding that a custody evaluation is necessary, as this will put the decision in the hands of the judge. Once your new custody plan has been established, the judge will approve, deny, or make adjustments when necessary and put the order into effect.
At this stage, the new custody plan will become binding, and any further modifications will require an additional petition to make changes to your child custody plan.
Consult with an Indiana Child Custody Lawyer
If you’re unsure how to modify a child custody plan in Indiana and you need assistance to ensure that the best interests of your children are always put first, speak with a highly trained Indiana child custody lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm. You can schedule your initial case review today by calling our office at 1-812-232-7400 or by filling out the quick contact form we’ve provided below.